Tour Diary: Bath

Saturday: Morning and Afternoon

Egg, Palla and their better halves made their way across a snowy Belfast to the airport for the first flight to Bristol. In spite of the best efforts of the Hitlers (our clear plastic bags containing toileteries were the wrong size. Seriously) and the “restaurant” (Palla’s sausages were nothing short of vile) we made it across the Irish Sea.

Bags were dropped off at the Linton Travel Tavern Holiday Inn Express and the train to Lahn was merrily boarded. One stop later, twas Beautiful Bath. After a stroll around the Christmas market, collecting 4 currywurst, 1 cheese board and a mental list for Sunday; we chanced upon the Thermae Spa. After enquiring if Barnesy had checked in yet (“Who?”), we joined the beautiful people of Bath in the rooftop pool – a most excellent way to while away 2 hours.

Saturday: Evening and Night

Next stop was the outside of the Pig and Fiddle for the Munster match and a rendez-vous with Egg Spoon, Egg Cup, Miss Egg Cup and Tackle Bag. One Radge masterclass (TM) later, and we retired to the inside of the Pig and Fiddle for Sarries-Ospreys. Well, it was a rugby weekend after all…

By this stage, all were drooling over the prospect of a venison burger at Gascoyne Place – a pang not even copious amounts of wine could sate. After checking if Barnesy was eating (“Errrr, no.”), we discovered venison was off, but steak burgers were wolfed down with gay abandon. Picking up Ou Cacador and Senyoreta Ou Cacador, we headed towards the Westgate (thanks for the recommendation Stephen), sunk some digestifs (2 x double rum & coke + 2 x double vodka & white for £20 – high fives all round) and practised Samoa tackles.

Sunday: Morning

Fuzzy heads abounded in the am, but it was nothing a Bath Pasty and some coffee couldn’t sort out. A leisurely stroll down to the Rec was next – one of the highlights of the trip. Followed by the real highlight – the Rec itself.

What a ground – character, setting, charm – the place has everything. The match itself was fairly bitty – Leinster tried their best to throw it away, but ultimately Bath didn’t know how to win and Barnesy’s new favourite closed it out.

Sunday: Afternoon and Evening

The remaining highlights of Bath were on the agenda for our post-match stroll – the Circus, Queen Square and the Royal Crescent. Despite the increasingly grim weather, you couldn’t but love the place. The observation that there were 30 houses in the Crescent led us to the only logical conclusion – it was where the Bath squad lived. After knocking on number 10 looking for Beaver, it was back down town for some food.

A much more enjoyable than Saturday stroll around a half-empty Christmas market was next, and some gifts were procured – mostly for Mini Egg and Little Palla – lack-of-contact guilt was kicking in. One train, one automobile and one plane later, it was back to an icy Belfast for the final leg – 4 tired and happy campers slept well on Sunday night!

For the next episode, it’s Dublin this Saturday for Beaver in the Aviva.

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